What questions should I ask my doctor?

You should not, in theory, need to ask your doctor anything. You have a notable disease. Your medical team is undoubtedly working ahead of you on its problems and solutions. Knowing that you are not an expert in these matters, your oncology experts should also be planning your education as part of the process of patient care.

The medical teams at most treatment centers insure that new patients receive massive amounts of written materials, covering disease, procedures, hospital policies, maps, and helpful hints of many other sorts. Listen carefully at your first couple of meetings with your team. Read your information packet. By the time you have digested all of that, one hopes you have been thoroughly briefed and that remaining questions will be few.

Here are questions you should be able to answer, if you have an interest. If you don't have an answer and would like the information, schedule a Q & A session with your doctor.

  • What stage of myeloma do I have?
  • Does my myeloma have any high-risk features?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What are the goals of treatment in my case?
  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and long term?
  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
  • If the first treatment isn't successful, what will we try next?
  • Am I a candidate for stem cell transplantation?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?
  • Do I need a medicine to strengthen my bones?
  • Is my kidney function being affected?
  • What is the outlook for my condition?
  • Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Where can I get more information?